Jordan Mayer’s speed helps him get to the scoring areas and when he arrives, he’s proficient at cashing in.
“I like to use my speed. I think that’s my biggest (asset),” the second-year UPEI Panthers right-winger said after Tuesday’s practice.
While counted on to provide offence, he’s also reliable defensively.
“As long as I’m in the pluses and I’m putting numbers on the board I think the team is doing better.”
Mayer said speed has always been a big part of his game.
Growing up in Kingston, Ont., the Mayers lived next to an arena and Jordan’s mother would take him to public skates. Before long his father built a backyard rink and the younger Mayer quickly took to the sport.
In midget he was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) but was weighing options of going the NCAA route in the United States. He played half a season in junior A, before deciding he wanted more structure that the OHL provided.
He would play five seasons in the OHL and went to the Memorial Cup final with the host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in 2011.
“It was a fantastic experience that will stick with me forever,” Mayer said.
Mayer remembers the excitement of scoring in a 3-1 victory against Owen Sound in front of his family at the tournament.
The team, coached by Kinkora’s Dave Cameron, included the likes of NHLers Devante Smith-Pelly and Casey Cizikas as well as a future Panther forward Chris DeSousa.
But the season didn’t finish the way the team wanted, losing 3-1 in the final to the Saint John Sea Dogs.
“That’s pretty engrained in me and I don’t want that feeling again,” Mayer said.
He played another season in the OHL and when it came time to decide what was next, he turned to a few former teammates, DeSousa and Jared Gomes.
“I talked to them a lot and got to know the league by picking their brains,” he said.
Conversations with coach Forbes MacPherson ensued and before long Mayer had committed to the Panthers.
A condensed schedule compared to major junior and the speed were the two biggest adjustments for Mayer last year in his first season of university hockey on the east coast.
“Things happen at a faster pace. You just have to be able to think fast and react,” he said.
Mayer is not a big guy. When asked his size he quickly replies, “five-foot-nine. . . and a half.” The 185-pound converted centre is working hard on adding muscle to his frame without losing the speed, but is not afraid to go to the dirty areas to score goals.
“He plays well in traffic,” MacPherson said. “When the puck is on his stick he’s always a threat.”
The coach is pleased with Mayer’s progression in year two.
He said with the graduation of players like Jordan Knox and Mike MacIsaac there were opportunities for Panthers to take on larger roles and Mayer grabbed it.
“He’s probably our biggest threat offensively,” MacPherson said. “He’s a premier player on our team, but in order for us to have success, he has to be a premier player every single night.”
Mayer has been skating mostly with Tyler Brown and Mason Wilgosh. All three are second-year Panthers who bring speed as an element of their game.
“We shuffle here and there, but we always seem to come back to those three,” MacPherson said.
Mayer said the trio work well together on the ice and have gelled off the ice, too.
“We each bring something a little different, but when you put us all together, we’re very effective,” he said.
Mayer is enjoying his time in Prince Edward Island and is looking forward to a long playoff run with the Panthers.
“I love it so far. It’s starting to feel more like home.”
The Panthers (8-7-1) host Moncton (9-7-0) tonight at 7 p.m. It is the first of four games between the teams in a little more than three weeks.
Meet Jordan Mayer
u Who – Second-year UPEI Panthers hockey player.
u Position – Right wing.
u Age – 22.
u Jersey number – 83.
u Hometown – Kingston, Ont.
u Studying – Business.
u Before UPEI – Played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Mississauga and Belleville.
u Did you know? - Mayer took power skating growing up and runs his own power skating program in Kingston, Ont.
u Quote – “Jordan has that finishing ability. He’s also very fast and kind of jets in and out of open spaces and gets himself in a shooting position.” - Panthers coach Forbes MacPherson.
u Statistics -
GP G A Pts +/-
2012-13 22 7 7 14 -6
2013-14 13 5 6 11 +4
Head to head
A look at the UPEI-Moncton Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men’s hockey games for the 2-13-14 season:
Moncton at UPEI, 7 p.m.
u Jan. 24
Moncton at UPEI, 7:30 p.m.
u Jan. 29
UPEI at Moncton, 7 p.m.
u Feb. 7
UPEI at Moncton, 7 p.m.
u Did you know? - The teams are the two least penalized in the AUS.
u Top scorers
GP G A Pts
Eric Faille 16 10 13 23
Allain Saulnier 16 8 11 19
Alex Edmond 16 5 13 18
Reggie Traccitto 16 3 15 18
Dana Fraser 16 6 9 15
Matt Maione 16 2 13 15
W L GAA Sv%
Adrien Lemay 6 7 3.29 .893
Mavric Parks 3 5 2.90 .909
Wayne Savage 5 3 2.44 .909